Reason # 496 it’s good I’m not particularly concerned about humiliating myself publicly: If I was, my clients and I would likely still be trapped on that balcony of a vacant house in North Scottsdale.
Here’s how the humiliation went down:
When we stepped onto the balcony of house number 4 on our list, I had the MLS listing sheet, my camera, my ekey (that opens lockboxes) and the key from the lockbox all in my hands or pockets. What I didn’t have was my cell phone, a rope, a lock picking kit, or even a rock to throw through a window, just in case you’re keeping track.
My clients (a fun couple about my age) took in the lovely mountain views, discussed whether the neighbors seemed a tad Clark Griswaldian in their backyard holiday light display and then headed to the door back into the master bedroom to finish our tour of the upstairs.
Of course (I’m sure you can see where this is going), when I went to open the door, the knob was locked. And, of course, when I pulled out the key and tried to unlock it, the key didn’t work in that lock.
I would like to take a moment to tell you who should be shot over this predicament we found ourselves in:
1. The owner/agent of the property. This house didn’t just have a regular civilian owner; it had a owner who’s also an agent. So he should really really with a cherry on top, KNOW BETTER. Dude, you couldn’t tape that knob unlocked? Or put a little sign up? Or would it have killed you to change all of the locks out to the same key when you rekeyed the front door? There are just so many options that would have been a billion times better than the nothing we were given.
2. The dumbass who invented knob locks that can be locked and still open from the inside. Really, who on Earth does this serve a purpose for? We have a balcony off the master in our home and it also has both a knob lock and a deadbolt. When the knob is locked, the door cannot be opened from the inside or the outside. This makes sense. What does NOT make sense is a knob that turns and opens from the inside, even when it is locked and then leaves you locked outside in the frigid 72 degree winter weather. We could have died, Man. And I would have sued you.
So there we were, my clients and I, on the balcony with a lovely view, stranded. The house backed to a neighborhood street, so we tried, for a bit, to call out to the joggers and speed-walkers passing. We weren’t successful in even catching anyone’s attention. I think the problem was that we didn’t feel like we were in any kind of mortal danger and we hadn’t been out there long enough to really even be distressed about the situation yet. So it felt silly to scream ‘HELP’ at the top of our lungs. Apparently, “Excuse me, Jogging Lady?” or “Yoo hoo, Fast-Walking Sir, Can you look up here?” don’t cut it. “Hello? Neighbors of people whose balcony we are on? Are you home?” also did not generate any sort of assistance to our situation.
I, of course, had left my cell phone in the car, but my client had his. We tried calling the listing agent/owner, but he didn’t answer. It’s probably for the best that he didn’t, actually, because I just would have immediately ripped him a new one for the idiocy of the door, and then what would he have done? Left where ever he was to come rescue an agent and her clients who were just going to scream at him some more? Unlikely.
My client discussed calling his sister to drive over and come in through the unlocked front door and break us out of the balcony, but I thought that would take too long. So I did the only thing I could do in a situation like this.
I removed my pretty brown boots, my tacky socks with holes in them, my gray velvet blazer and my long beaded necklace. I told my client to cover his eyes. I hitched my denim pencil skirt up to mid-thigh and swung my legs over the metal railing surrounding the balcony. I dropped over to the other side of the railing (praying none of the previously oblivious to us joggers finally snapped to attention just in time to see my lime green edged in hot pink undies), crouched down to the bottom of the railing and slid down the bars until my toes just touched the top of the swimming pool gate that surrounded the bottom porch. From there I was able to jump to the ground without breaking my legs.
All in all, it was not my most graceful or lady-like effort, but it got the job done. Humiliation is no match for me.